The more things change, the more they stay the same, don’t they? Well, it’s true in the funeral industry, that’s for sure.
In 2007 I wrote a guest blog for Tim at Final Embrace about how terrible funeral home advertising is. Very little has changed- there are still too many funeral homes which lack websites, have no social media presence, and rely on the yellow pages for people to find them. These are likely the same funeral directors who will argue that the most valuable funeral is a traditional service followed by a burial, and rigidly rail against the rising cremation rate and its impact on the bottom line.
How’s that working out for you? Are your margins still decreasing? What’s your call volume like?
We all know that funeral directors aren’t known to be early adopters of anything. However, it’s time to smell the spider mums before your competitor does.
Research shows that when people are dissatisfied with a service or experience, they will tell 15 other people about it, but if they have a compliment they will tell only 3: and that’s when a situation isn’t emotionally-charged like a funeral. That’s not to mention how frequently grieving families have a captive audience of friends and family around them, meaning their complaints and praise have a very broad range.
Does complaining about the rain keep you from getting wet? So how will clinging to the past help you attract today’s savvy consumer?
If you want to capitalize on every dollar they’re willing to spend, you have to be flexible and creative, or they’ll spend that dollar at your competitor or the restaurant down the street. Create a reputation of compassion and flexibility, and your clients will tell their friends about how unusually accommodating and amazing you and your staff were. Be rigid, and you can be assured the family will tell everyone who will listen, as they find a way to create a memorial themselves.